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Bernanke’s “Curveball” Gives Yet Another Boost to Commodity ETFs

27 April 2011 at 12:07 pm by Gary Gordon     Bookmark and Share    Follow EtfExpert on Twitter

The Fed left interest rates alone again. Of course, as we all know, this was not the main story. The fact that Chairman Bernanke would address the central bank’s¬†monetary policy in a 45-minute Q&A session was the actual headliner.

Granted, everyone in the world of finance will have their own interpretation of the¬†historical event. For me, though, the “big moment” came when Bernanke endeavored to explain why inflation is a good thing. First, he expressed that 0% inflation, or even deflation, is every bit as undesirable for a country’s economy. With that, the Fed chairman went on to explain how¬†central banks worldwide typically seek 2% year-over-year cost of living increases as a primary target.

Did anyone catch that curveball? Do not worry that the cost of eating, driving, heating your home or flying is going up 2.7% year-over-year. Don’t be concerned that prices have risen for 9 consecutive months. Do not trouble yourself with the reality that coffee, corn, copper, silver, coal, cotton… well, just about every¬†input¬†into manufacturing is skyrocketing.

Why not? Because¬†the Fed is using “core inflation” as its measure — a measure that excludes food and energy. And Bernanke’s fellow committee members project core at 1.1%-1.6%. Nevermind the fact that they project actual inflation to run at 2.1%-2.8%… “core” is in check.

I might not have an issue with the Fed using core had Bernanke not specifically applauded a 2%¬†heuristic for central banks worldwide.¬†The 2% inflation target for central banks around the globe reflects¬†the total cost of living and DOES NOT exclude food and energy. So why is the Bernanke Fed selling us the¬†“core” concept, except as a means to¬†continue devaluing the U.S. dollar and as a way to decree soaring commodity prices as “transitory.”

With the Fed standing pat on its ridiculously easy money policy, there’s very little reason to expect anything to change on the precious metals front. In the short-term, the dollar will continue to weaken and Commodity ETFs will garner additional inflows.

That said, traders should begin to consider a near-term possibility of shorting silver via ProShares UltraShort Silver (ZSL). The historical ratio between silver and gold prices has contracted to 33:1 from 90:1 in about 6 months time.

What’s more,¬†even with the¬†Fed’s policy, markets tend to anticipate change before it happens;¬†that is, in the very near-term, the dollar will get a bit of a bounce and silver will¬†take a bit of beating.

You can listen to the¬†ETF Expert Radio¬†Show¬†‚ÄúLIVE‚ÄĚ,¬†via podcast or on your iPod.¬†You can review more ETF Expert features here.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert¬†is a web log (‚ÄĚblog‚ÄĚ) that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, MS, CFP is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial, Inc, and/or its clients may hold positions in the ETFs, mutual funds, and/or any investment asset mentioned above. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial, Inc. or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert web site. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert disclosure details here.

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